Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Tour: The Coven: Fire and Ice by Verdell Walker Interview

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
ISBN: Print – 1481981080
Ebook - 9781301450695
Number of pages: 454
Word Count: 114,679

Cover Artist: Gabriela Miyares

Apple iBookstore  Sony  Kobo Amazon Kindle  Barnes and Noble 

Book Description:

After her clique's bullying causes a classmate's suicide, Kat Grey trades the vicious world of the California "in crowd" for the chance to become a better person in Massachusetts. But when she steps in to protect a classmate from being bullied, Kat sparks a war with Hannah, Milton Academy's resident Queen Bee.

Kat's courage and compassion attract the attention of Blaze Ward, Hannah's ex-boyfriend. As they fall in love, Kat discovers that Blaze is more than the boy next door. He's a warlock. He is also the leader of an in-crowd like no other - the Brotherhood, five young warlocks charged with defending witches and humanity from a demonic adversary named Seth.

Kat challenges Blaze to become a better man and leader while he helps her find redemption as she makes it her mission to stop bullying at Milton. But when Hannah teams up with Seth to destroy her, Kat becomes a hostage in the age-old war between the Brotherhood and their greatest enemy. Saving Kat will require more than Blaze's strength and skill; it will mean breaking one of his kind's most sacred laws. Blaze will have to make a choice: his honor or Kat's life.


  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
It first grew out of a conversation I was having with my friend about what the ideal guy is like. None of the Brothers in the book are perfect – that would be boring – but they all have traits that I thought were essential for someone you want to be in a relationship with, at least for me. For example, Blaze is strong, courageous, intelligent, and puts others ahead of himself. Also, I’ve always been interested in witches and magic, and this was my opportunity to build a world around that! It was a lot of fun asking myself – now what would I do if I had these powers?

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I came up with the title Fire and Ice, and that was the title from conception to completion.

  1. Which came first, the title or the novel? 
The title came to me during the planning stages of the novel, before I started writing.

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Without a doubt, completing The Coven: Fire and Ice. I’ve been writing for years – I started out with poetry and short stories but a novel was my holy grail. It gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment to achieve that goal.

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I’m reading “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness, ironically. I’ve wanted to read it for a while since I’ve heard nothing but good things about the book.

  1. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
The first book I ever wrote was a nonfiction book actually. It was called “How to Succeed in High School.” It was basically a manual for getting into college. I was the first person in my family to go to college and I wanted to write a guide for kids that didn’t think college was possible for them.

  1. What is your writing process?
I’m an outliner. I devote a lot of time to plotting my books before I even start writing. I plot chapter by chapter. It’s nothing super detailed, just the highlights of the plots. I always like to know where I’m going. I find it easier to let the writing flow once I know the direction I want to take. Simultaneously, I do a lot of work on character development. I really try to get into my characters’ heads and get a good grasp on their motivations. I have filled up whole notebooks on my characters.

  1. Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I’ve been influenced by a lot of writers across genres, all of whom have taught me different things that I’ve used in my own work. Some of the most important for me are Jhumpa Lahiri, JR Ward, Karen Cushman, Orhan Pamuk, John Ajvide Lindqvist, and Naguib Mahfouz.

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
I never just sign my name. If I know the person, or have had a chance to interact with them, I always write a personal note related to things we’ve talked about. At the very least, I thank them for buying my book. Readers have a never-ending buffet of choices and it’s an honor when they pick mine.

  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’ve been belly dancing for five years. It’s completely incongruous with my persona – I have an economics degree and I am an analyst now. But I LOVE belly dancing. It’s great exercise and, like writing, is one of the key ways I express myself. It allows me to stay in touch with my femininity and really increased my self-confidence. Plus, I get to wear sparkly costumes with sequins and beads. What’s not to love about that?

  1. How do you react to a bad review?
I won’t lie – they hurt. Like all writers, I take my craft very seriously and my work is deeply personal. That said, I respect other people’s opinions. We’re all entitled to them. There are two kinds of negative reviews as well. First, there are those that are really just mean spirited and hateful. I don’t pay any attention to those. Then there are the kinds that are more like constructive critiques. I try to hear those out because they can sometimes lead to improvements in my writing.

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I bought a pair of killer heels that I’d been coveting for months. I finally had a reason I deserved them!


The body had left a spider web of cracks in Kat’s windshield. Still wrapped in her seatbelt, Kat clutched the sides of her seat, stricken with shock and fear.  A rational voice in the back of her head screamed at her to move, someone was injured, maybe even dead. Trembling, she forced herself to get out of the car. On wobbly legs she rounded the front of the Prius and scanned the area for the body. Spotting a large, still lump lying in the grass, Kat sprinted over to the person’s side. Kneeling, Kat placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. She couldn’t detect any signs of blood; there was also no blood on her windshield. Whoever he was, he smelled awful. Maybe it was a homeless person.
“Hello? Can you hear me?”
The man moved faster than the blink of an eye. One minute he was lying immobile on the ground, the next he had his hand clamped on her mouth and an arm around her throat. A shot of cold fear zoomed down Kat’s spine as she felt herself being hoisted up. She kicked and thrashed in a desperate attempt to get away, but the arm on her throat was like steel. Her cries were muffled by the foul-smelling hand, and the stench of the grave enveloped her. Kat thought she was going to faint until adrenaline and her fighting spirit came to her rescue. She bit down on the stony fingers and used all her weight when she stamped her foot on her attacker’s instep. The taste erupting in her mouth was worse than the smell and made her want to vomit, but she concentrated on wrenching herself free. The thing made no sound but jerked its hand back from her sharp teeth. Kat used the opportunity to let out an ear piercing shriek. Before it could silence her again, she tipped them both forward and sent them sprawling toward the ground in a heap. Kat aimed another kick at its stomach and managed to escape. It reached out and grabbed her foot but only pulled off her sneaker.
Kat shot off into the night, racing back to her car. She paid no attention to the gravel jabbing her shoeless foot as she ran. As she ran she continued to scream, hoping someone, anyone, would hear her. Her thighs burned as they ate up the distance, and she could hear her attacker gaining on her from behind. Fear and a desire to live propelled her onward despite the pain in her foot and throat, and tears ran down her cheeks from the biting wind. Soon the Prius was in sight, but her attacker had almost closed the gap between them. She could feel those disgusting fingers reaching out and trying to grab her. Kat pressed on, even though every muscle in her body screamed to stop.
Suddenly, a thick mist rolled in and enveloped the area, blanketing everything. Because of it, Kat couldn’t see the exposed root sticking up in her path. She tripped over it and pitched forward. As she fell, the attacker’s hand grasped her hair, yanking it violently. Kat thought her neck was going to break. She hoped it would, and that it would kill her before this person, this thing could. She thought of the mother she was just getting to know again, and felt sick. Then something hot streaked past her face, and the ground beneath her shook.
“Kill the mist, Q! I need to see!”
Kat’s heart lifted – was someone coming to help her? She didn’t want to believe, but then she heard another gruff, masculine voice.
“It’s not alone! Hold back till I clear this place!”
The mist receded, like water draining from a bathtub. Kat was on the ground, and through her watery vision she could see two pairs of boots racing toward her. Her attacker’s fist was still wound tightly in her hair and she could hardly breathe for the stench. She tilted her face upward and relief fled when she saw her saviors’ eyes cast an unearthly light in the darkness, the color of the glowing embers of a fire.
“Oh my God,” Kat breathed.
Another shot – of lightning?! – whizzed past her. The tension on her hair slackened. She heard a dull thud behind her as the blast of whatever-it-was nailed her attacker in the chest and sent him flying backwards. Her rescuers ran past her in a blur. One of them was a tall blond boy, the other African American with close-cropped black hair. Her attacker tried to crawl away from them but they surrounded him. The black boy brought his boot down on his ankle, pinning him to the ground. The blond kicked him savagely in the ribs, his body flipping over onto his back. He brought a knee down onto the attacker’s scorched chest and placed his hands on either side of its head. The blond boy’s hands glowed brightly as he twisted the attacker’s neck 180 degrees. A blinding white light filled the night, and the attacker’s body was gone.
If Kat thought she was scared before, she was absolutely terrified now. She pushed herself off the ground and tried to run away, but a sharp pain in her ankle brought her back down. She must have sprained her ankle when she tripped. Kat gritted her teeth against the pain and rose again. She would crawl the last few feet to her Prius if need be, but come hell or high water she was getting out of there.
“Hey, stop!”
Kat didn’t look back as she half ran, half hopped away. She was almost to the Prius. Impossibly, the blond boy was right next to her in an instant, blocking her path.
“Stop,” he commanded in a voice accustomed to being obeyed.
“Go to hell,” Kat spat back as she moved around him. She tried to evade the long, powerful arms that reached out for her, but she was too slow. Or rather he was unbelievably fast. On instinct, Kat fired her elbow into his ribs. The blond let out a grunt and she slipped halfway out of his grasp. He tried to regain his hold, but Kat reared back and scraped her nails across his cheek. This made him angry, but she didn’t care. She was pissed. If he took her, it wouldn’t be without a fight.
“Get away from me!” she screamed. Despite her best efforts, he caught her again. His arms were like stone pinions around her.
“Relax,” he said into her ear in a deep, rich bass. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“You expect me to believe that! You just broke someone’s neck!”
“You’re welcome, miss. It was a pleasure saving your life.”
Without thinking, Kat spat in his face.
A low whistle sounded behind him. It was the other boy.
“A girl who is immune to Blaze Ward’s charms – I do believe this is a first.”
The one called Blaze lifted his right hand to wipe her spit away, while still keeping her imprisoned in his left arm. She struggled against his hard body uselessly.
“Do me a favor and hold onto her while I call Etienne.”
Oh no, there are more of them, Kat thought as she was passed like a ragdoll between the two of them. The other boy held her just as tightly. Her ankle throbbed. She thought about screaming again, but figured it was impractical as there was no one else around.
Her captor leaned down to her ear and spoke to her in a calm voice. “Don’t be afraid. We won’t hurt you. Just keep still and quiet. And please keep your saliva to yourself.”
Blaze stepped away from them and closed his eyes. He made no sound or movement, but he seemed to be reaching out to something or someone. Moments later, another huge blond appeared with eyes as green as hers. Out of thin air.
“Oh, good Lord,” Kat said aloud.
The new blond turned to look at her. “Crap – a norm. What’s she doing here?”
“Dark One had her,” Blaze replied. “We rescued her.”
“And she thanked Blaze with a nice, big loogie,” Kat’s captor said gleefully.
Mirth twinkled in the new blond’s eyes. “Did she see anything?”
“Too much. Which is why I called you,” Blaze said.
“You need me to wipe her?”
Kat stiffened with terror. Her captor felt the change, and rubbed her arm soothingly. “Calm down – he’s not talking about killing you.”
The new blond moved toward her. “No, baby. I promise this won’t hurt, and you won’t remember any of this.”
“Get away from me,” Kat said in a hard, angry voice. He said nothing, bringing his face closer to hers. Kat could make out the individual hairs of his prickly stubble. His green eyes flashed gold.
Something pricked at Kat’s consciousness. She closed her eyes and shook her head. The pricking continued, and some force deep within her mind resisted. Kat squeezed her eyes and opened them again. The pricking stopped, and she fixed him with a glare.
The blond frowned. “This one’s mind is strong. Most norms would be drooling wrecks by now.”
“Try harder,” the first blond said.
Suddenly, a feeling of tremendous calm washed over Kat. Her muscles relaxed, and the pain in her ankle drifted away. Those golden eyes mesmerized her, held her in their sway. If her captor hadn’t been holding her, she was sure she would have fallen to the ground. Her mind tried to fight back, but this time it was impossible.
“You’re calm,” he whispered. “You’re safe, and warm.”
“Safe and warm,” Kat repeated drowsily, in spite of herself.
“Give her to me,” the first blond said. His voice sounded far away and she nearly collapsed into his arms. He wrapped her arms around his neck. Reaching down, he slipped an arm behind her knees and lifted her off the ground. Cradling her to his chest, he turned to the others.
“Etienne, do something about her car. Q, conjure up another shoe for her, will you?”
If she had been alert, she would have thought their conversation was insane. But now all she could think of was sleep.
The one called Q stepped forward with her white and pink Puma sneaker. Kat wondered idly where he had found it.
“I wonder who she is, and where she lives?” Blaze asked Q.
“Never seen her before. Probe her mind for it,” Q suggested.
“No need,” Etienne shouted. “Got her license here. Katherine Grey, lives at 223 Shady Oak Lane.”
“Pretty sure she’s breaking curfew now,” Q said. “We should get her home before she’s grounded for life.”
A thought occurred to Kat. “Text Mom,” she murmured.
Blaze shushed her. “Etienne, is there a phone over there?”
“Yup. Texting her mom now. Man, there are like 10 messages from Momma Bear on this thing.”
“Q, go back to the others and make sure there are no more Dark Ones roaming around. Etienne, drive her car back to her house. I’m going to run ahead with her.”
Kat looked up at the young man holding her in his arms. His handsome face was angular and sculpted, with high cheekbones and a strong, masculine jaw. He must have felt her looking at him, because he peered down at her. His narrowed eyes were a translucent, shimmering blue. She breathed deeply, inhaling his scent. He smelled of sweat, dark spice, and pine. In spite of herself, she felt completely safe and taken care of. He stared at her for another second, and his eyes were inscrutable. The next thing Kat knew they were moving, the night rushing past them at incredible speed.
Copyright 2013 Verdell Walker. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

Verdell Walker is the author of THE COVEN series. Born and raised in the South, writing has been her escape from reality for many years.

Verdell is an avid sports fan and absolutely devoted to the Green Bay Packers. A gifted cook and baker, few things make her happier than making a meal for her family and friends. Except maybe writing about her favorite boys.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Tour: The Angry Woman Suite by Lee Fullbright Excerpt & Giveaway

Raised in a crumbling New England mansion by four women with personalities as split as a cracked mirror, young Francis Grayson has an obsessive need to fix them all. There’s his mother, distant and beautiful Magdalene; his disfigured, suffocating Aunt Stella; his odious grandmother; and the bane of his existence, his abusive and delusional Aunt Lothian.

For years, Francis plays a tricky game of duck and cover with the women, turning to music to stay sane. He finds a friend and mentor in Aidan Madsen, schoolmaster, local Revolutionary War historian, musician and keeper of the Grayson women’s darkest secrets. In a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are revealed through the viewpoints of three different people–Aidan, Francis and Francis’stepdaughter, Elyse–adding layers of eloquent complexity to a story as powerful as it is troubling.

While Francis realizes his dream of forming his own big band in the 1940s, his success is tempered by the inner monster of his childhood, one that roars to life when he marries Elyse’s mother. Elyse becomes her stepfather’s favorite target, and her bitterness becomes entwined with a desire to know the real Francis Grayson.

For Aidan’s part, his involvement with the Grayson family only deepens, and secrets carried for a lifetime begin to coalesce as he seeks to enlighten Francis–and subsequently Elyse–of why the events of so many years ago matter now. The ugliness of deceit, betrayal and resentment permeates the narrative, yet there are shining moments of hope, especially in the relationship between Elyse and her grandfather.

Ultimately, as more of the past filters into the present, the question becomes: What is the truth, and whose version of the truth is correct? Fullbright never untangles this conundrum, and it only adds to the richness of this exemplary novel.—Kirkus Reviews

 “I’ll tell you what I’m ready for, Aidan. I’m ready for the top floor.” His eyebrows shot up.

“I beg your pardon?”

“The third floor of Grayson House. I’m ready for it. I’m really ready.”

“I don’t think I understand—”

“Please, Aidan.” I emphasized each word: “I’m ready to meet Jamie.”

I turned and walked out of that parlor then, and into the foyer and up the ten steps to the landing where the grand staircase turned direction. I ran up the first flight, then paused at the second landing, waiting for Aidan. When I glimpsed him behind me, I turned and ran up the next flight, to the third floor, straight for the door at the end of the hallway, next to the door that opened onto the outside stairs.

I’d been able to pinpoint this door as the one by the soft thumps I’d heard when I’d sneaked into Papa’s room on the second floor—things nobody thought I’d hear—and by watching from my spot across the road: the quick deliveries and arrivals, the things and people nobody thought I’d see.

I hesitated, not feeling anything, I was now so empty. No more  anger. Instead I was in tune with senses: the steady tick-tock of the clock at the end of the otherwise soundless hallway, the wallpaper’s perfectly vertical stripe, even an aromatic odor reminiscent of the appendectomy I’d had when I was six—was it ether? And then, finally, Aidan’s ragged breathing when he caught up with me. We were ready,  in position—and it was understood I’d assumed leadership: I’d go first.

I turned the doorknob. My opponent had just run through his resources.


From Kirkus Reviews

"Secrets and lies suffuse generations of one Pennsylvania family . . . in a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are revealed through the viewpoints of three very different people . . . a superb debut that exposes the consequences of the choices we make and legacy's sometimes excruciating embrace."


From Midwest Book Review

"A very human story . . . a fine read focusing on the long lasting dysfunction of family."
"There is something fascinating in labyrinthine plot twists, which is what we have here, and I must applaud Fullbright for her keen and magical ability to pull it off with such aplomb."-Norm Goldman, Montreal Books Examiner and
5 Stars ***** Reviewed by Joana James for Readers Favorite: "The Angry Woman Suite is quite a ride . . . very cleverly written . . . an outstanding novel."
Rating: 5.0 stars Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite:" Lee Fullbright is master of characterization."

Rating: 5.0 stars Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite:
"The Angry Woman Suite is a brilliant, complex, complicated story about talented, complicated people . . . this is a story to remember!"


Lee Fullbright, a medical practice consultant in her non-writing life, lives on San Diego’s beautiful peninsula with her writing partner, Baby Rae, a 12-year-old rescued Australian cattle dog with attitude.        

The Angry Woman Suite, a Kirkus Critics’ pick, 5-starred Readers Favorite, and a Discovery Aware winner, is her first published novel.


Lee will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Tour: Undressed by Avery Aster Promo

Avery Aster
Erotic Romance

(78,000 words, Erotic Contemporary Romance, M/F, HEA, Ages 18+ due to sexual situations and mature content)

Milan's notorious playboy, Massimo Tittoni, seems to have everything--Lamborghinis, exotic women, palaces throughout Europe and business success. Ramping up his fabric company to go global with a new apparel brand, he ruthlessly stops supplying fabrics to the American client who inspired the collection. But once they meet, what's he willing to give to get her in his bed?
Upper East Side designer Lex Easton will be damned if she'll let an Italian stud muffin knock her down. So what if she named her favorite vibrator after him. With Fashion Week approaching, she'll do whatever it takes to secure the fabrics she needs to become the next Diane von Furstenburg-- even sleep with her rival. Lex's Louboutins stilettos are dug in deep to win this war.
Avery Aster's super-glossy debut novel is loaded with passionate escapism, pitting American ambition against Italian tradition. Erotic romance fans who appreciate extended sex scenes, witty banter and glamour mustn't miss Undressed.

Inside Scoop: Though the hero and heroine remain monogamous, their Prada-wearing friends indulge in a ménage a trois and other fashionable sexual fun and games.

The Manhattanites is a series of full length novels focusing on relationships. Each book may be read as a stand alone. If you've enjoyed TV shows like Girls (HBO), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC), and The Bold & the Beautiful (CBS) then you'll love this series. Avery's characters are over the top. They have raunchy sex, speak their minds and the plots are twisted. (In a good way!) Manhattanites celebrate lust, ambition, and true devotion.

25 New Yorker Insights Revealed After Reading Undressed by Avery Aster
§  Your vajayjay can take a guy’s cock 'n' balls…at the same time.
§  Always name your butt plug after Anderson Cooper.
§  Pre-ejaculation while jetting a plane over Italy causes turbulence.
§  Never let a dog sleep in your bed, especially three dogs. It’ll ruin your sex life.
§  If he’s as hung as an Evian bottle, it’s best to look away.
§  Always retain the legal services of female lawyers, particularly ones named; Sarah Goldbaum and Hannah Goldstein.
§  Never allow your mother to spend your line of credit on a psychic from the Caribbean.
§  Sexual frustration leads to good business practices, enough to earn three hundred million dollars.
§  If Bergdorf’s, Barney’s and Saks Fifth Avenue reject your upcoming fashion collections try selling it to JCPenny’s or Kmart.
§  Use your American Express reward points wisely. You never know when you'll need to jet.
§  Bellini cocktail consumption will induce foot fetishes.
§  Swedish Fish, Now & Later, and Gummy Bears from Dylan’s Candy Bar are perfect for your fuck-it bucket.
§  Everyone should be so lucky to have a best friend like Taddy Brill.
§  Never drive a Ford Thunderbird off a cliff thinking you’re Thelma & Louise.
§  Stay away from any woman named Scilla or Ottavia.
§  Wearing Tory Burch ballet flats while racing a sports car may cause ones clitoris to hum.
§  Think twice before sitting Lady Gaga and Madonna next to one another at your fashion show.
§  Prada and a condom, when worn together, are known to make bisexual men go bonkbuster cra-cra.
§  Altering a vintage Valentino dress, formerly worn by socialite Nati Abascal, may land you on the red carpet.
§  We should all get "f'd" in Fendi.
§  When in love, you can have as many orgasms as you like…in one day!
§  Slow dancing to Giuseppe Verdi enhances one’s emotional state.
§  Don't argue with your lover in public, above all—never in front of Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, or Karl Lagerfeld.
§  Playing Simon Says, in bed, may lead one to reveal their true feelings. So will strip dancing in front of him to the song Girls, Girls, Girls by Mötley Crüe.
§  And finally, he must always say, “I love you,” first.

Avery Aster